Lauren Wescott Dobay

Home | The Last Issue | Submissions | Achieve: 2004-2009 | Essays

has been published by Down in the Dirt Magazine, and RUMINATE.


This is You


Tiny rats followed her wherever she went because she was a liar. Her hair was made of snakes today, because she had always hated snakes. She wheezed when she spoke and her eyes were sour cream. I looked right through her when I was trying to watch TV; she wavered like a fish flying through my room. Cockroaches scurried out of her ears when she picked up the phone. Her fingers were swollen slugs; salty foods made her cry. She said she wouldn’t miss me but I didn’t bother hearing her.







When the Smoke Lied to Me



I didn’t open the back door because my yard was on fire. Grisly smoke had told me so, tiny tendrils seeping through my windows and whispering to me that the bushes were burning again, and that the fence had gotten up and left in a huff. I let the smoke in and made green tea, because the green went so well with the dim gray haze seated on the faded chintz. My coffee table expressed concern that the hot tea would burn it, that the flames in my yard would burn it, and that the sofa was equally concerned but couldn’t speak because I was sitting on it.


I asked the smoke politely to leave, as my furniture was so concerned, but it settled in and puffed and implied that I should really care more about the inferno on the lawn, that the death cries of individual blades of grass were a horrible thing to hear; maybe I should listen. That the smell of incinerated grass liked to linger in the nostrils, take up residence and blot out every pleasing scent that dared approach. I told it I didn’t believe in fire, and that smoke was a notorious liar. The smoke, enraged, floated off the loveseat (which sighed in relief) and stormed back out the windows.


 I comforted the furniture, pulled the plastic slipcovers tight and turned off the lights. Up the wooden stairs that screeched with every step and into my room I burrowed deep in my bed, and stuck my fingers in my ears.







How to Ignore the Dead



One would like to know them, or see them walking around the corner at night and saying,


“Lovely evening. Would my nose were here; the lilacs look exquisite.”


You’d shake their hands and return their pinkies (How shabby they are! Can’t hold onto their fingers!) They’ll wander away whistling; you’ll think, what a nice life, to walk and look on the flowers.


Ignore them. It’s winter, and the flowers aren’t there.